Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A chilly night with warm hospitality! Collective Barossa is officially opened.

Our vintage is over. Whether it actually was long, or whether it just felt long, well, I am not sure but it sure has been a busy time. James already has a full-time job (outside of the wines and vines). I now manage and work in a shop (Collective Barossa), as you probably already know. In between, we have harvested, made our products for 2010 and maintained some form of sanity in our house. I am not sure how, but the important thing is that we made it. And by all accounts, the long, hard slog has been worth it on many fronts.

I will write an update on the actual Karra Yerta vintage soon but tonight's entry is on the recent Official Opening of Collective Barossa.

Planning an event during vintage, ie trying to co-ordinate four different wineries, and communicating with guests who are also in the industry (with everyone working endless stints of six or seven days a week, and long hours during those days) can be a huge challenge. When I chose April 10 to be our night to officially celebrate the opening of the Collective Barossa shop, it felt like it was so far away but the weeks went fast, the vintage continued and it was there before any of us realised. Despite the inevitable hiccups that come with such things, we did manage to host a small but pleasant evening which all of our guests will remember.

Approximately 55 people attended on that rainy, misty Barossa autumn night to taste the delicious wines from the four wineries - Karra Yerta, Gumpara, Kurtz Family Vineyards and Smallfry Wines. Wayne from Smallfry and myself took care of the food and made sure that everyone had a delicious feed to compliment the wines. All of the winemakers attended and spent the night mingling with our guests who appreciated the opportunity to meet the Collective group and learn about our wines.

Wine journalist Philip White gave a short but poignant speech on the Collective, the wine industry in general, and also expressed his appreciation of the actual Barossa Museum and its rare and special contents. Three members of the Barossa Valley Archives and Historical Trust attended and gave guests the opportunity to have guided tours or just discuss items in the Museum which gave a nice, personal touch.

Our two teenage sons provided live music in the adjoining courtyard and no-one let the weather dampen their spirits. At the end of the night, all of the Collective group had a hard earned Cooper's Pale Ale after cleaning up, and that is the group photo taken below. The top photo is of our eldest son, Daniel, entertaining us; the second of Mark from Gumpara Wines with his Mum, Bev and step-father, Bruce, and the third, James with local legend, BobMcLean. It really was a great night and a success on all fronts. We look forward to having more Collective Barossa events in the future.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Every picture tells a story....

This blog entry is purely to showcase two fantastic photographs taken by the very talented photographer, Milton Wordley. They were taken late last year in our old red gum stable and in the Karra Yerta Wines vineyard. Thanks, Milton for allowing me to post on my pages:)

For more of Milton's fabulous work please visit this link:

Everything old is new again!

My writing, of all of my blogs, has been tardy of late and so I am planning on catching up a bit over the coming weeks with blog entries of recent happenings and of course, our 2010 vintage, so stay tuned.

For now however, I have one rather important thing to post and as it is already the middle of the night, will make it a brief entry. But albeit brief, it is nonetheless a wonderful entry and one that I post with much gratitude.

Please find below a review from April 2nd, 2010 of our now sold-out 2005 Karra Yerta Wines Barossa Shiraz which also happened to win a Silver Medal at the 2008 San Francisco International Wine Show. The review below was written by Julian Coldrey on his website,
Full Pour. Thanks Julian:) I look forward to sending you a sample of our 2008 Barossa Shiraz in a few months time!

Karra Yerta Wines 2005 Barossa Shiraz

My acquaintance with Marie Linke of Karra Yerta Wines has been rewarding in all sorts of ways; it has provided me insights into the world of the boutique micro-producer, into the trials associated with just getting your wine out there in the public eye, into the challenges of juggling family and work life. And, not least, it has provided me with the opportunity to taste wonderful wines, borne of passion and commitment to regional tradition. My view is producers such as Karra Yerta are the backbone of the industry, providing a philosophical base around which trends and companies may come and go.

Case in point: this wine. It's identifiably Barossan in character, with that luscious, irresistibly drink now fruit character starting to come up against some more adult, bottle-aged aromas. So, it's very much in transition. I sometimes read that as a mark of disinterest, but that's kind of like saying teenagers aren't interesting because they're neither children nor adults. Surely there's a particular fascination in the confluence and clash of nascent maturity? That's what I'm seeing in this wine's aroma.

The palate is full of flavour in a characterful way. An interesting counterpoint to this wine was a 2006 Penfolds Bin 407 I tasted just the other day. I didn't write it up because it was pristine, perfect, clean, and faceless. This is precisely the opposite; it's tangibly textured, imprinted with imperfection in the most positive manner; from entry through finish, a dense wave of regional fruit, roughed up by an edge of earthy, spiced humanity that puts corporate swill to shame. This isn't trying to win medals, it's simply a reflection of its place and maker, and is utterly worthwhile for precisely this reason.

Perhaps not much of a tasting note, then, but, one hell of a worthwhile experience to taste. Highly recommended.

Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

Posted by Julian on Friday, April 2, 2010 at 2:35 AM